Max Korpusov

Cryptocurrency Adoption in Developing Countries: A Path to Economic Empowerment

Developing regions like Africa, South East Asia and Latin America are witnessing a surge in the adoption of cryptocurrencies. In Latin America for example the prevalence of inflation has propelled millions of individuals to explore currencies. Survey results from Mastercard reveal that 51% of consumers in Latin America have engaged at least in one cryptocurrency transaction.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been closely monitoring the growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in developing nations. According to their data digital currency ownership in these regions has experienced a 2,300% increase between September 2019 and June 2021. This remarkable rise signifies the growing recognition of cryptocurrencies as an instrument for achieving inclusion and economic empowerment.

Latin America

Crypto is gaining popularity in Latin America as countries in the region are embracing assets and recognizing their potential benefits.
El Salvador's recent decision to accept Bitcoin as tender and regulate other digital assets with the Digital Asset Securities law has generated interest in the area.
  • Brazil, ranked as the largest crypto market globally and 7th for exchanges, has about 7.8% of its population owning crypto assets.
  • In Argentina, where inflation's currently at a staggering 108.8% cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular due to their potential to combat economic instability.
  • Similarly in Peru the unstable political climate and a weak national currency have prompted citizens to turn to cryptocurrencies as a way of safeguarding against crises.
  • Colombia boasts a peer to peer trading market while Chile is considering central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) although it doesn't have formal regulations yet.
Overall Latin America offers a landscape for the growth of the crypto industry by providing financial inclusion for unbanked individuals and offering protection against volatile currencies with high inflation rates.


Regarding Africa's adoption of cryptocurrency it stems from access to traditional banking services and an increasing demand for alternative payment systems.
Nigeria has emerged as a participant in the cryptocurrency field among African countries boasting numerous exchanges and trading platforms. The use of money is already prevalent in the country and there is a rapid increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies. However despite some achievements there are obstacles to overcome for wider acceptance, including a lack of clear regulations and inadequate technological infrastructure.
Nevertheless cryptocurrencies offer benefits such as swift, secure and cost effective money transfers that could revolutionize the lives of many Africans, particularly those working abroad. Additionally crypto may provide businesses in Africa with access to funding without relying on traditional banks. Given these advantages it is highly likely that crypto will continue gaining popularity, across Africa in the years ahead.

The Optimism for Crypto in Developing Countries

It is worth mentioning that two countries have recently adopted Bitcoin as tender. El Salvadors President Nayib Bukele made this announcement in 2021 with aims to digitize the economy, reduce reliance on the US dollar, remittance fees and attract investment. El Salvador continues to make progress in its adoption of cryptocurrency while the Central African Republic initially embraced Bitcoin as legal tender in 2022 but later faced opposition and repealed the legislation.
The emergence of cryptocurrencies brings promising prospects for developing nations. Accessing banking services poses a challenge in these regions; cryptocurrencies offer a secure and efficient means for people to store and transfer value even without conventional bank accounts.
Furthermore cryptocurrencies have the potential to revolutionize remittances by making them more affordable and faster benefiting both senders and recipients. This technology also holds promise in attracting investment and stimulating growth in developing countries.
Blockchain technology, which serves as the foundation for cryptocurrencies provides transparency and security, across sectors. By implementing blockchain based systems corruption can be reduced accountability can be. Public services can become more efficient – all contributing to development particularly in the Global South.

Charting a Safer Path in Crypto Adoption

Although cryptocurrencies initially held promise for bringing stability to developing countries recent findings from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have raised concerns about their impact. The comprehensive study conducted by BIS highlights the multifaceted risks that cryptocurrencies pose to developing economies.

The study highlights risks that could pose a threat, to financial stability, such as liquidity risk, credit risk, operational risk, bank disintermediation risk and capital flow risk. These risks are further complicated by the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies making it challenging for regulators to effectively monitor and mitigate them. The report suggests strategies like implementing bans imposing strict regulations and establishing clear regulatory mandates to address these challenges. However finding the balance between oversight and preserving the anonymity of cryptocurrencies remains a task. Additionally many developing nations lack resources and expertise to ensure supervision and governance of cryptocurrency markets.

Nevertheless it is essential to tackle these issues in order to achieve stability and economic resilience. As cryptocurrencies continue to evolve and impact landscapes, governments and regulatory bodies must quickly adapt in order to protect the stability of developing economies. The recent warnings from the Bank for International Settlements serve as a reminder of the interplay between innovation, oversight and stability within the realm. Effectively managing these elements will be crucial in realizing the potential of cryptocurrencies as a force for change, within the systems of developing nations.
Cryptocurrencies present a glimmer of hope for developing economies that face challenges by offering access to financial services. They have the potential to safeguard wealth, facilitate payments, enable remittances and promote transparency and economic growth. This transformative technology has the power to positively impact lives and economies.

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